I Corps, or “America’s Corps,” is a United States Army Forces Command unit located in Washington at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord base. Unique among active US Army corps, I Corps is comprised of 20,000 active duty members of the armed forces and 20,000 army reserve troops that serve all but three states. The unit was originally activated in World War 1 in France and was responsible for overseeing US Army units as they defended against numerous major German offensives and later saw action in Germany. The unit was disbanded at the end of the war but would be reactivated for World War 2.
The corps was reactivated in the second World War and commanded divisions throughout the South Pacific. Along with US and Austrailian forces, I Corps reclaimed New Guinea after successfully putting an end to the Japanese army occupation. The success in New Guinea would result in the unit being awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and would set the stage for I Corps to lead the liberation of the Philippines, specifically in the Battle of Luzon. The corps would go on to finish out its tours in the South Pacific overseeing command headquarters in the occupation of Japan and providing support for various units.
I Corps would later be deployed to Korea with the onset of the Korean War and would go on to serve throughout the entire war. The corps commanded US, British, and forces from South Korea against the Chinese and North Koreans with continuous campaigns over three years. They would remain in Korea for 20 years after the war ended to control the Korean Demilitarized Zone. The corps still maintains a presence in Korea as part of the United States’ Asia-Pacific Shift campaign participating in joint exercises and supporting the United States Pacific Command missions.
The corps would go on to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and the War on Terrorism. After the attack on September 11, 2001, I Corps began providing support for units deployed for the War on Terrorism. They actively participated in combat support and combat service missions across Afghanistan and Iraq and served as the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Afghanistan until 2012. In addition to the numerous awards throughout their years of service, I Corps was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for their roles in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Since 2012, I Corps has predominately been deployed to the Asia-Pacific region in the ongoing efforts of the Asia-Pacific Shift.